Former Fleetwood Town striker has been a big miss

Fleetwood Town's Bobby Grant
Fleetwood Town's Bobby Grant

It will be a case of friends reunited for Fleetwood midfielder Bobby Grant and David Ball tomorrow.

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Last season they were Town team-mates but Ball, 28, joined Rotherham in the summer, purely for family reasons.

Ball was top scorer in the historic top-four season that nearly saw Town reach the Championship.

Ball is chasing promotion again with the Millers, while Grant and company are close to winning their battle at the other end, having gone unbeaten in seven games under John Sheridan.

Grant says Ball has been a big miss due to his infectious personality and leadership qualities, just like fellow summer departures Conor McLaughlin and Jimmy Ryan.

He said: “Bally is a fantastic player and it is hard to replace a player like him.

“I think we’d have won a lot more games if we still had him here, but he moved on and the decision was the best for him and his family. He couldn’t stay and that is just football.

“He is an infectious character. He does rub off on you. Sometimes you think, ‘Has he really just said that?’ Other times you really listen because, like me, he has been around the block.

“He’s had promotions, relegation battles and is a massive miss.

“Conor was also a leader on the pitch and off it because of his experience, Jimmy Ryan too.

“They are three key players who every team in this division would miss, but we move on and we are finally starting to grind out wins.”

Grant came off the bench to set up both goals in Town’s fourth successive win against Bristol Rovers. The same team started all four games, so Grant may well have to settle for a dug-out berth again.

He added: “Bally and I have been on the bench, so we will be able to have a catch-up on the touchline. I’m really looking forward to seeing him.

“He is a fantastic player and a great lad. I miss him around the place.”

With Town’s survival not yet mathematically secured, despite hitting that magical 51-point mark Grant wants to finish the season well.

He said: “I know I can create chances for players at this level. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone – I have been doing it all my career.

“But credit to the team for the win on Monday. It was all about being safe and the quicker we do that the better because nobody wants to be playing in League Two next season.

“The lads have done really well to turn it around and we want to finish the season well.

“We will be looking to go unbeaten until the season now. It’s a hard task, with some big games ahead, but we have shown we can do it if we stay together.”